There’s a lot more to this quiet and leafy suburb than meets the eye.
Just beyond the majestic sandstone bridge is the beautiful suburb of Northbridge, home to approximately 6000 people on the Lower North Shore. But to those who drive past, it may seem like just another luxe leafy green suburb filled with waterfront properties, Range Rovers and not much else.
But that’s where they’re wrong. This quiet suburb is wedged between the alluring bustling Cammeray and Willoughby and a stone’s throw away from the lively Crows Nest, so it’s no wonder why many have not had the chance to explore Northbridge’s simple treasures. So, without further ado, here are the top local secrets to explore in Northbridge.
Best Secret Spot: Clive Park
An absolute highlight of Northbridge is it’s waterfront, extensive bushland and its secret little beach found at the bottom of Clive Park. Located at the end of Sailors Bay Road, a paved bush path leads you down the winding cliff face, past a swingset, lovely picnic areas, public BBQ’s, past local’s stacked up kayaks and down to the beautiful rockery and a small sandy beach. Ideal for short bushwalks, workouts, a refreshing swim and warm sunbake, this spot is a true treasure used by few. If you’re a dog lover, you’re in for a treat, with regular local dogs popping down for a swim and cuddle.
Best Breakfast: Bonds Corner Cafe
With an abundance of tempting cafes in Northbridge and its surrounding suburbs, choosing the ‘Best Breakfast‘ should be hard to pick. But it isn’t. There is a clear front runner and it’s Bonds Corner Cafe. Tucked further down Sailors Bay Road, sharing a corner with The Wine Store, Bonds Corner Cafe is found sprawling over the bricked landing, filled with locals, sunshine and sensational brekkie dishes. Our absolute favourites include the Brekky Bowl ($18.50), topped with luscious poached eggs, avocado and toasted nuts or the bacon and egg roll, with BBQ Sauce on a soft brioche bun. Our trick? Squeeze in a hash brown to really take it to the next level. Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this suburb favourite.
Best Coffee: Ritual
You’ll see the line and you’ll know right away. This hole-in-the-wall spills out onto the sidewalk and neighbouring apartment driveaway, not that anyone cares because the coffee is that good. Not only do they serve wonderful coffee, they also specialise in sensational juices, smoothies and shakes for a much healthier alternative than their names suggest! We recommend the Snicker Shake made with cacao, peanut butter, banana, rice malt syrup and coconut milk. Or treat yourself to an iced long black for the pick-me-up you need this summer. Ritual also has a great selection of light breakfast and lunch including smashed avo, acai bowls, raw pad thai, super green salads and selection of mega sandwich stacks.
Best Pizza: Pizza Tuttis
There is a real war between three prime pizza places in Northbridge; Pizza Tuttis, Borussos and Attimo. But for us, Pizza Tuttis takes the prize. With almost 17 years in the ‘hood, this family-owned business knows how to make a sensational pizza. Better yet, they’ve also jumped on the dietary-requirements-band-wagon, with a selection of vegan pizzas, gluten-free and dairy-free pizzas too. With over 52 pizzas on offer, our pick of the bunch is the Traditional Supreme and Traditional Vegetarian. Pizza Tuttis also has a sensational range of Bravo Gelato and indulgent dessert pizzas including the Caramello, Berrylicious and Choc-Mango. Yum!
Best Bar: Hello Sailor
The newest addition to Northbridge has made a big splash, especially with serves of Aperol Spritz. This much-needed and much-wanted bar has become a local favourite tippling its residents with a variety of delicious cocktails, beers and wines. All accompanied by a selection of small bites and tapas including arancini balls and squid. Better yet, you can return on Saturday and Sunday mornings to fuel yourself with the breakfast classics. The bar tends to really go off from 4:00 pm on a Friday, so if you’re in search of a lively buzz, be sure to be there.
Best Activity: Northbridge Golf Club
Who would want to stay indoors when in Northbridge?! The Northbridge Golf Course has been carved from the rugged sandstone escarpment overlooking Sydney’s Middle Harbour and provides a picturesque 18 hole challenge for members and visitors. And if you’re not into golf, there’s plenty more to do, including FootGolf, which sees guests kicking around a soccer ball into large holes off the fairway. Alternatively, there are tennis courts and a basketball court too for you to enjoy. The golf course is complete with clubhouse and Harbourview Dining restaurant to keep you full after a big day on the green.
Best Shop: Quintessence
We all love a homewares shop, especially when we need that last-minute gift for a loved one. Enter Quintessence, our favourite store nestled on the ground floor of the Northbridge Plaza. Filled with the aroma of Kyoto and Amalfi Coast Glasshouse candles, this beautiful store is adorned with stunning china, trinkets, furniture, leather purses, cashmere and jewellery. The perfect spot to spoil yourself or a loved one, especially with their stunning free-of-charge gift wrapping.
Best Park: Tunks Park
Ok, there’s a little controversy as Tunks Park sits on the border of Cammeray and Northbridge, blanketing the area below the Long Gully Suspension bridge. This beautiful park is filled with multiple ovals, cricket pitches, workout equipment, a children’s playground, a sensational bushwalk, public bathrooms and parking. This expansive park is filled with games of touch football, cricket, soccer, dogs and runners, all of which bring the space to life with cheering and laughter. A true treasure bordered with lush trees and rockery, leading to a waterway with stepping stones and streams.
Best Light Lunch: Inner Cravings Cafe
This one is a surprise. Sitting in the heart of the Northbridge Plaza is Inner Cravings Cafe, a simple eatery overlooking shoppers and shops alike. But the food is fabulous. It’s fresh, it’s honest and it’s simple. And after a long few hours weaving through one of the busiest Woolworths you’ll ever find, it’s a welcomed break! Open for breakfast, lunch and anytime you’d like a snack, this little cafe fills all your needs. Their soy chai latte is also one of the best we’ve ever had! Inner Cravings Cafe also serves a truly delicious breakfast, so be sure to keep an eye out for their pancake special with passionfruit butter – it’s sensational. Plus the staff here are some of the friendliest we’ve ever met!
Best Swim: Northbridge Baths
If you’re after a more extensive swim than which you can enjoy at Clive Park, look no further than the Northbridge Baths. The Baths have been a local favourite for decades and is complete with netted beach, sand, diving board and a wrap-around walkway. It pours into Middle Harbour and is surrounded by bobbing yachts. There is plenty of shady areas and a grassy noll for you to relax on. Better yet, the Baths have BBQ facilities, a picnic area, change rooms, toilets, hot showers and parking.
Feature image: Northbridge Long Gully Suspension Bridge. Image via Shutterstock, photographed by Duncan Struthers.